Fanbeam® from Measurement Devices (Aberdeen, Scotland) is a laser range and angle system designed for high accuracy positioning and tracking of marine vessels, and static and semi-static anchored structures. The system is primarily used to control or assist automatic dynamic positioning of a vessel next to a platform, jetty or other vessel. It can be employed as either a standalone collision avoidance monitoring system or as a local backup system for position control of ship/ barge docking and manoeuvring. The system is also widely used to position towed seismic vessel gun array floats during geophysical survey operations.
The basic system consists of a Laser-Scanning Head, an Autotilting Yoke and a Universal Control Unit with embedded scanning software. An autotilt mechanism allows the laser scanning head to be adjusted by +/-15° giving a total beam range of -24° to +24°. This allows remote adjustment of the scanning head when large height differences occur between a vessel and a rig or two vessels in different states of ballast. Fanbeam laser system can be employed as the primary or backup system and is considered a valuable alternative or complementary system to DGPS and other navigational aids.